Do you ever marvel that your baby seems to love objects that aren’t toys just as much as she loves her toys? Does your crawling child seek out your phone, the remote control, or your purse over his own rattles and balls? Does your toddler prefer the jingling of your car keys over his plastic set of keys?
While it can be comical at how much fun babies can have with mundane items around the house, some household items can be extremely dangerous for babies and toddlers. June is National Safety Month (organized by the National Safety Council), and it’s important to take time to assess how to make your household a safer environment for your little one!
Here are some common everyday items that can be hazardous to young children:
1. Car keys
Babies can’t resist snatching Mom and Dad’s car keys. What’s not to like? They’re usually colorful, shiny, and make fun jingling noises! If parents are always carrying them around, there must be something special about them. However, keys can be dangerous for babies, because they are made from brass and a small amount of lead. There aren’t any federal guidelines for the amount of lead allowed in keys, and experts agree that lead poisoning is a real threat to little ones. If your baby is constantly stealing your keys, opt for.a safer route and get him a set of plastic baby keys, which can still be shiny and jingly!
2. The remote control or video game controllers
All babies and toddlers are intrigued by whatever they see their parents using on a daily basis, and chances are, they see you operating the TV remote pretty often! Babies love to try to grab the remote and “magically” operate that colorful, exciting box! Little ones love to push the different shaped buttons and watch the television change. While messing around with the remote control can be a lot of fun, the batteries inside are dangerous for young ones. It’s often easy to remove the battery compartment cover, and you definitely don’t want to risk your baby eating a battery! The silicone buttons can also fall off and become a choking hazard. Video game controllers can also present similar dangers. Give your baby an exciting, baby-safe toy remote or toy game controller that still lights up and plays sounds.
3. Medicine containers
Medicine bottles look like fun to babies. The bottles make fun noises when shaken, they’re usually small enough for little hands to grasp, and they’re often kept on a shelf. And while most pill containers are child-safe, some children can still find a way to open them. Several medications can be lethal to children, especially if taken in large amounts, and the pills might look like food to curious babies. Be sure to keep all medicine bottles in a locked cabinet, or on a shelf out of your baby’s reach. You can buy fun rattles and egg shakers for your baby to experiment with safely!
4. Your purse or wallet
Babies and toddlers are curious about purses, bags, and wallets. They especially love the small coins and plastic cards inside! While it might be fun to let your baby rummage through your purse, coins are a major choking hazard for children. Thankfully, there are a good amount of toy purses and money that are safe for toddlers. Always pay attention to recommended ages on those toys, and supervise your child during play. You can also give your child an empty wallet to play with, as long as there aren’t any small items inside.
5. Plastic straws
While it might be fun to chew on, bend, and toss around plastic straws, these can be very dangerous if your toddler runs around and accidentally falls and cuts the inside of her mouth with the straw. If your toddler wants to learn how to use a straw, teach her not to run or jump with a straw in her mouth. You can also invest in some quality reusable straw cups.
6. Rash creams
Babies can be rambunctious during diaper changes, and it’s tempting to let them grab whatever item is within their reach, whether it be the package of wipes, the clean diapers, or rash creams. If your baby gets her hands on diaper rash cream, she might ingest some or get some on her face, and this is very dangerous. Keep a few baby toys near the changing table for a safer option.
7. Small building blocks or board game pieces
If your baby has older siblings in the house, chances are, there might be some board game pieces or small building blocks laying around. These can be major choking hazards, so teach your older children to keep all games and toys will small pieces off the floor and away from your baby. If your little one is constantly jealous of his big sibling’s building blocks, invest in some baby-safe blocks like large wooden blocks, MegaBlocks, or Duplos, which are safe for babies and toddlers.
While household items might look fun and exciting to your baby, many of these items can be hazardous to small children. Thankfully, there are many baby-safe toys out there made to look like all of the above items! It’s a great idea to let your baby play and explore, but always be aware of her surroundings to keep her safe.
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Kaitlyn Torrez
|I’m Kaitlyn Torrez, from the San Francisco Bay Area. I live with my husband and two children, Roman and Logan. I’m a former preschool teacher, currently enjoying being a stay at home mom. I love all things writing, coffee, and chocolate. In my free time, I enjoy reading, blogging, and working out.|